Marketing is not an easy field. As soon as you get to know the market, it has changed its face entirely.
“Marketing moves very quickly, especially with the emergence of big data and social media,” Johanna Brunneder, marketing spokeswoman at the University of Geneva, tells The Local.
“New trends are revolutionizing marketing.”
Luckily, some programs are managing to keep up, revolutionizing marketing education in the process.
“The Strategic Marketing Diploma of Advanced Studies at the University of Geneva gives participants new techniques and tools to conquer marketing,” Brunneder says. “It’s designed for professionals currently working who want a career in modern marketing.”
Johanna Brunneder. Photo: University of Geneva
The unique program, housed in the heart of Geneva, lures professionals from around the world ready to take their careers to the next level.
“Most of our students are based here in Geneva while enrolled in the program, but many of them come from far away,” Brunneder says. “Not just Switzerland, but places as far afield as France, Italy and Egypt are represented, and many more. Our students come from all over.”
Marwa Moustafa, a communications manager from Egypt, was one such student. “The program enabled me to acquire new friends from all over the world,” she states. “It was a remarkable step in my career path.”
Only 25 applicants are accepted each year, making the program distinctively intimate and personal.
“It’s a very diverse mix of students from different countries, backgrounds, and industries,” Brunneder says. “We look at every student’s background and how it fits with the program, putting a lot of value on selection. It makes the program very unique.”
But the program offers far more than friendship.
“Marketing strategies and tactics, as well as the methods to measure them, evolve very fast,” professional marketing manager Melanie Vanberghem. says. She is an alum of the Strategic Marketing program at the University of Geneva.
“Even after a few modules, I already felt comfortable to implement the concepts that I had learned into my work.”
In order to provide an in-depth education making students experts in their field, the program consists of ten different modules, including everything from brand management, marketing strategy, and ROI to customer relationship management and service marketing.
“They don’t leave with just one talent, they have a global view of what to consider, and have more knowledge and make better decisions,” says Brunneder.
The year-long program – entirely in English – includes seminars and lectures once a month over a three-day period or twice a month over a two-day period, giving professionals the opportunity to sharpen their skills and expand their career opportunities without missing work.
“It’s designed for professionals currently working, so you don’t have to take too many days off,” Brunneder says.
Brunneder adds that the program is not just for those who already work in marketing, but also professionals in other fields looking for a career change.
Applicants must have a BA degree from a recognized institution and must have been working for three years – but as long as the motivation and drive is there, the field doesn’t matter.
“We want a unique and enriching learning experience for everyone, so we look for people who seek knowledge,” Brunneder says. “Who is a motivated achiever? Who wants to share knowledge with their peers? We look for those who want to engage vividly with professors and peers.”
The professors are another highlight of the program, with diversity to rival that of the students.
Professor Marcel Paulssen, programme director. Photo: University of Geneva
“They come from all around the world, like Belgium, Turkey, and Germany,” Brunneder says. “We recruit international faculty who look forward each year to coming to Geneva.”
All professors are carefully selected and must have a proven background in marketing, and be up-to-date on modern techniques. This is no school for the old-school.
But that’s not the only requirement. Drive is just as important.
“They must have a passion for marketing,” Brunneder says. “Our professors challenge the students, but also inspire them.”
The elite professors were definitely an inspiration for Melanie V..
“The richest source of knowledge has come from a combination of my peers, their diverse backgrounds and business orientations, as well as the most recent examples provided by the professors.”
Brunneder describes the professors’ teaching style as “experimental” – in a good way.
“It’s not anything abstract; everything is hands-on,” she says. “Professors make students work on case studies that can be associated with their own companies or other businesses to really work through them, so students can actually apply the techniques they learn in the seminars.”
And the students are just as impressive. Johanna Brunneder notes that one recent professor declared the students in Geneva better than even those at IMD Business School in Lausanne.
“I think it’s because of our small class sizes and select criteria,” says Brunneder. “Professors challenge our students but also our students challenge our professors. In the end it is an inspiring experience for both.”
In short, it’s a life-changing program in one of the most beautiful European hubs, designed for those who want to truly accelerate their careers and improve their lives in general, Brunneder says.
”If you want a marketing education that is inspiring, international, and will boost your career, this is for you.”
This article was produced by The Local in partnership with the University of Geneva.